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Courtney at the Annual IES Conference in Boston

In a presentation at the Annual IES (Illuminating Engineering Society) Conference in Boston, Courtney Piotrowski (livingLAB) and Brienne Willcock (illuminart) focused on the intense collaboration process between Landscape Architect and Lighting Designer on the road to an intricately planned environment with Midwest climate challenges – including a green roof installation atop the park’s only building. Integration of custom lighting elements, lighting controls, materials, and plant juxtapositions was presented as a strategy to achieve a successful balance between technology and ecology.


Within Beacon Park, lighting and landscape elements coexist in a complex network of compromises within Beacon Park, a new 1.5 acre outdoor space in Detroit. Hundreds of luminaires, electrical dependencies and data lines weave within intentional seasonally-shifting textures of over 10,000 diverse plants. The layers of light for seating, trees, paths and activities, all individually controllable via DMX are sophisticated beyond the obvious. Designed to expand the definition of ‘occupied’ beyond people; sensors detect the presence of other environmental influences – like wind, sound, temperature, and precipitation – and ‘energize’ the park day and night.

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